Category Archives: CulturalToast.com Exclusive

Washington Roberts Spring 2013

Despite the relevant staying power trend of using African-inspired wax prints in the global fashion industry*, Washington Roberts doesn’t sink into that ubiquitous look. Instead Washington Roberts created 8 chic looks for the modern woman who wants to look her best for a fun night out.

I applaud Washington for not using African prints as sometimes quite frankly it can be repetitive. *African fashion doesn’t have to mean batik, Ankara, or traditional lace. Granted that wax prints has gotten critically acclaim reviews from the international fashion world and it has also open endless opportunities for many designers but it is NOT the state of African fashion. There’s so much more to African fashion than wax prints. We’ve seen what African fashion is without the use of wax prints thanks to labels like Tsemaye Binitie, Christiane King, Mimi Plange, Virgos Lounge, Mataano, Maki Oh, Grey, Re Bahia and many more.

With that said, I hope Washington Roberts will lead the pack of boldface African fashion designers straying away for a while that is from using wax prints in their womenswear and menswear collection. I loved the pastel colors, the peplum color block look and the blue panel sequin tuxedo dress from the Washington Roberts Spring 2013 line.

Stay tuned to see which piece is Washington’s favorite in my interview with him posted soon!

image credits – WWD & Getty Images

Cultural Runway is a style feature focusing on runway looks inspired by African aesthetics & designed by African fashion designers presented at various international Fashion Week events.

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African fashion designers at New York Fashion Week Spring 2013

Spring 2013 saw creativity pouring in from African fashion designers from the iconic ARISE magazine runway show to Mimi Plange’s Manolo Blahnik shoe collaboration. Spring 2013 was truly a celebration of the brilliancy African fashion designers pour into their womenswear and menswear lines. Here’s a brief rundown on favorite looks seen on the catwalk.

Arise African Icons – Tiffany Amber, Tsemaye Binitie, Gavin Rajah, Ozwald Boateng

Tiffany Amber

“I have a special place in my heart for the ARISE shows. It felt surreal to walk down the runway again. It was like we were at a party thrown by the world. I loved it and can’t wait to do it again…”

Tsemaye Binitie

“From the backstage production and calibre of models, to working with world-class stylists and make-up artists – and being at the Lincoln Center… It was all wow!”

Gavin Rajah

“My US clients appreciate my craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. By showing my luxe pret-a-porter collection last night, it was great to fly the flag for South Africa.”

Ozwald Boateng

“I wanted to support the important work ARISE is doing for African fashion. It’s good to help bring the stylistic messages of the AMFW experience of Lagos to New York. I have a good following in the States and have showed solo at NYFW three times…If you’re interested in the American consumer. NYFW is where it’s at.”

Maki Oh

“I have put my ‘AMFW Designer of the Year’ Award on my dining table, beside an amethyst candle holder and other awards I’ve won. I was excited about the whole line-up ARISE had chosen. Great times ahead…”


BCBG Max Azria Spring 2013

Suno


Washington Roberts

Mataano


Duro Olowu

Mimi Plange

Complete runway reviews coming up!

image credits – imaxtree, wwd.com & style.com

Maya Samuelsson & Manolo Blahnik for Mimi Plange Spring 2013

Manolo Blahnik continues its collaboration with Ghanaian-American fashion designer Mimi Plange who recently unveiled her Spring/Summer “Tea With Mother” 2013 collection during New York Fashion Week with model Maya Samuelsson featured in her new AD campaign. Maya Samuelsson, wife to world renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson of Harlem’s Red Rooster restaurant, worked IT in a Mimi Plange Spring/Summer 2013 custom printed lambskin leather combo pencil skirt. “Tea With Mother”, Mimi Plange’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection was inspired by the refined elegance of aspirational adult style, and the fragile beauty of modern porcelain art.

 

 

Simply gorgeous!

image credits – Mimi Plange Facebook, WWD & Getty Images

Angela Simmons Dazzles in Jewel By Lisa & Kanayo Ebi rocks Virgos Lounge Clutch at ARISE African Icons NYFW SS 2013 Runway Show!

What Angela Simmons wore to the event caught my eye instantly. Angela Simmons continues her love for Jewel By Lisa. She was spotted at front row with her stylist Kanayo Ebi rocking the embellished jacket from Lisa Folawiyo’s critically-acclaimed  Jewel By Lisa Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.

Angela’s Jewel By Lisa jacket is a style favorite! Who else wore Angela’s JBL jacket:  African models Millen Magese and Ediomi Utuk wore this jacket for a photo session with Jewel By Lisa Autumn/Winter 2012 lookbook and Munaluchi Bride Magazine respectively.  In Style National Style Correspondent Tai Beauchamp’s Jewel By Lisa Autumn/Winter 2011 jeweled jacket was amazing at the 2012 pre-Grammys event! Model Georgie Badiel walked down the runway for ARISE magazine Autumn 2012 runway show in Lagos last March.

Just imagine it was during NYFW Autumn/Winter 2012 shows this past September that Angela was seen rocking Jewel By Lisa designs. Great to see Angela continue to show love to JBL. Stylist Kanayo Ebi also donned a yummy yellow and black Virgos Lounge BEE clutch for her ARISE African Icons front row appearance. Kanayo and Angela are definitely great supporters of the African fashion initiative!

image credits – Chioma for CulturalToast.com, Kanayo Ebi, Jewel By Lisa, AdoreAngela.Tumblr.com, Virgos Lounge x Getty Images

Solange Knowles Mixing at DVF for Fashion’s Night Out 2012

Solange Knowles (model, blogger, style icon and singer) was the celebrity DJ at Diane von Furstenberg’s Meatpacking District Fashion’s Night Out in-store celebration on Thursday September 6th. The stylish Texas-native, Brooklyn resident got the crowd hyped playing classic hip-hop and R&B tunes including Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston and Jay-Z. Before her DJ duties, Solange pose for photos with DVF and Girls‘ star Allison Williams in her luxe Washington Street store. (Also in attendance were Olympic Gold Medalist Champion Allyson Felix, Steven Kolb, CEO, Council of Fashion Designers of America and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.) Must say that I love Solange’s printed wrap dress, bold red lip color, hair , jewelry, and swag!

The in-store public event went was definitely a great way to energize New York Fashion Week! Drinks and desserts were given out. There’s a MAC Cosmetics make-up consultation, palm readings, and a fun photo flip-book workshop session. DVF worked the store interacting with attendees. Billboard magazine’s Gregory Dellicarpini, Jr. of The Hook interviewed the celebrity attendees. The vibe there was upbeat! Solange captured photos of the crowd in between her DJ gigs with her totally, cool, vintage camera. (Will her photography moments show up on her amazing blog, mydamnblog.com, anytime soon?)

Fun times all around! I’m eager to see what print Solange will become obsessed with next. 

Follow Solange and DVF on Twitter for more Fashion’s Night Out scoop: @solangeknowles x @DVF !

image credits – Chioma exclusively for CulturalToast.com

Kat Graham in Tsemaye Binitie Autumn + Winter 2012 Jumpsuit

Vampire Diaries star Kat Graham (@katgraham) has always been appreciative of African fashion designers from Mimi Plange to now Tsemaye Binitie. The Swiss-born American actress and singer best known for her role as Bonnie Bennett was seen in a sleek black leather Tsemaye Binitie jumpsuit at the Samsung’s Galaxy SIII event in Chicago! She completed her look with Monika Chiang shoes and CC Skye accessories! I think she completely OWNED this look! What I love about this look: The geometric shapes on the pants!

Kat Graham’s Tsemaye Binitie Winter + Autumn 2012 Runway Look

Tsemaye Binitie AMFW Lagos , Nigeria 2012

Tsemaye in his own words…

ESSENCE.com: What is the number one quality that you want a woman to exhibit when she puts on your clothing?
Tsemaye: My girl is a modern icon of strength, beauty and glamour!

Kat Graham wearing Tsemaye Binitie is GREAT NEWS for the London-based designer! I’m definitely digging that cultural presence on the red carpet! 2012 has been good to him from Alicia Keys rocking his designs on the cover of Vibe magazine’s 2nd Global issue to his well-received ARISE Made in Africa in New York & Lagos runway presentations! Next up for Tsemaye is his much anticipated appearance at NYFW ARISE Made in Africa: African Icons runway presentation on Thursday September 6th!

>> Tsemaye Binitie Online: Facebook//Twitter//Website// Tumblr << 

image credits – Getty Images, KatGraham.com, Tsemaye Binitie

Cultural Presence looks at how celebrities and everyday people wear African fashion straight from the runway.

Bookmark Nigeria’s Stylist to the Stars Bolaji A’s Must-See Tumblr Page – Bolaji’s Stylelist

Creative Fashion stylist to top Nigerian artists and celebrities Bolaji Animashaun has a eye orgasm worthy tumblr that you MUST check out. CulturalToast.com readers already know that we support African fashion stylists making IT in the industry. On her official tumblr page aptly named Bolaji’s Stylelist, Bolaji chronicles her daily styling runs featuring several of Nigeria’s superstars from Eku Edewor to Dolapo Oni to Tiwa Savage to Nike Oshinowo. Most of her styling work on her tumblr page showcase her keen eye of fashion seen on 53 Extra hosts Dolapo Oni and Eku Edewor. (After all Bolaji is the head stylist and Fashion Director for the hit Nigerian-based show 53 Extra. It’s no wonder she’s one of Nigeria’s top 5 fashion stylists!) Dolapo and Eku, hip fashionistas, definitely make African fashion designs POP!

I’m beyond thrilled that she launched this tumblr page to showcase her work. What I love about her work is her love and pride for African fashion designers. Be prepare to see your favorites in Deola Sagoe, Maki Oh, Tiffany Amber, Landre Da Silva Ajayi, Republic of Foreigner, Clan, Re Bahia, Virgos Lounge, Viv La Resistance, and much more. I’m definitely eager to see which top African fashion designer look Bolaji would style next on Eku and Dolapo!

Eku Edewor (@EkuEdewor) in Lanre DaSilva Ajayi

Dolapo Oni  (@marcydolapooni) in Clan, Re Bahia, and Grey

I’ll leave you all with Bolaji’s latest styling gig – Eku Edewor in Huda Couture

Dolapo Oni in Clan

Continued success, Bolaji!

Visit her official tumblr page at: bolajianimashaun.tumblr.com

image credits – @Bolajee

Cultural Spot highlights outstanding, influential Africans in the media showcasing positive images of the Diaspora!

Nneka Wears Anita Quansah London Neckpiece for Her Mania Magazine July 2012 Cover Feature

Nigerian superstar musician Nneka looked fierce wearing a stunning statement neckpiece by Anita Quansah London on the July 2012 edition of Mania magazine – the “Fearless Fashion Issue.” Nneka, who is about to release her new album Soul is Heavy looked beyond fierce rocking Anita Quansah London’s handcrafted neckpiece with her statement making hairstyle!

I am presently looking forward to the next project. I have the theme “oil” in mind. I want to see how people relate with oil. What the advantages and disadvantages are. I want to see how children see oil and this is very interesting because you are not putting anything into their minds. – Nneka to Mania

In the accompanying photo Nneka is wearing a black silk top and aso oke pencil skirt by KEMKEM Studio. Nneka’s skirt is taken from the KEMKEM Studio Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. I love how Nneka made the skirt her own. She didn’t wear it exactly like the runway, picture perfect photo!

I also discover the exact neckpiece Nneka wore for her cover shoot from Anita Quansah London’s Twitter page – @AnitaQuansahLon.

The London based Ghanaian-Nigerian designer also shared on Facebook several photos taken from her upcoming collection. Anita show the safety pin, the body piece and two feather neck pieces from new collection.

Don’t you want them all?? Simply stunning!

Celebrities embracing the bespoke jewelry curator Anita Quansah London is pouring in daily from the red carpet to magazine covers. In fact, this past April Alicia Keys wore her neckpiece fo her VIBE magazine feature. Congrats to Anita Quansah London for continuing to expand her successful brand. As I told you this past January, Anita Quansah London is one designer to watch this year!

image credits – Anita Quansah London & Mania Magazine

Which African fashion design do you prefer on Nneka – Anita Quansah London or KEMKEM or do you love both looks?

Cultural Newsstand highlights the cover stories seen on international newsstands.

Naana B’s New Spring/Summer 2012 Lookbook

Shot by Melinda DiMauro Photography, rising Ghanaian fashion designer Naana B unveiled her bright, colorful Spring/Summer 2012 collection that she handcrafted using rich Ghanaian Kente fabric accents. Yes CulturalToast.com readers, the wait is finally over! For those who fell in love with Naana B’s collection when it appeared in Teen Vogue or when Oluchi wore her designs for a Nigerian high-fashion shoot, Naana B is back with a huge bang…and it’s just in time for the festive holiday season!

This collection provides much of the same aesethic that Naana is known for – fitted silhouttees, vibrant prints, and glamourous womenswear that take the ideal Naana B customer from day to night. The collection offers something chic and classic for every woman. Celebrities also shares CulturalToast.com’s enthusiam for Naana B!  R&B singer Mya was also seen rocking a Naana B python clutch from the Vixen Collection at the  2010 International Dance Music Awards! Supermodel Oluchi wore a Naana B Prine of the Valley Cocktail dress for a FLARE Magazine cover and editorial shoot!

Georgia NY welcomed Naana B last year for her sample sale as CulturalToast.com reported on. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for another swanky sample sale in the city from Naana! Check out the new lookbook featuring model Shirley Tan which also features the famous python snakeskin leather clutch from the Vixen Collection. What’s your favorite style pick from Naana B’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection?


>>>LookBook: Naana B Spring/Summer 2012<<< 

Connect with Naana B Online: Facebook + Twitter + Official Website

images courtesy of Melinda DiMauro Photography

Cultural Look examines fashion’s latest lookbooks and looks lifted from the runway!

Ebbe Bassey, star of Ties That Bind, Poses in New Photo Shoot

Nollywood superstar Ebbe Bassey-Mazczuk who can be seen up next in the film Ties That Bind co-starring Kimberly Elise and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde poses in a new photo shoot done by Yinka Ajaikaiye of Chocolate Photography NYC. Ties that Binds, as the happily married Ebbe proudly proclaimed on her official Facebook fanpage that her new Nollywood film is set for a release this December. Visit Yinka’s blog, C.H.O.C.O.L.A.T.E. Photography NYC for the complete shoot!

 

Ties That Bind Trailer

 

Cultural statement is a feature celebrating positive imagery of African professionals which includes fashion photo shoots and print AD campaigns.